UPDATE: (15 October 2008) Mansour Osanloo was suddenly taken to Rajayi Prison after being held in Evin Prison, where he has been suffering from eye and heart ailments, conditions that required care from specialized doctors. After being held for months, Osanloo was taken for treatment on 21 September 2008 to Labafinejad Hospital while in hand and foot cuffs. His wife, Parvaneh Osanloo, said that only after entering the hospital were his foot cuffs removed, before which he was unable to walk. After his operation Mansour was not seen by a doctor and his eyes swelled and became infected. Also, two of his arteries are clogged. After medical treatment for only two hours, Mansour was taken back to Rajayi Prison despite the protests of his doctors. The conditions in Rajayi prison are unsuitable for a prisoner in Mansour’s ill-health. The air is smoky, the atmosphere is tense, and the prison is far from any medical treatment facility. At every moment Mansour’s life is in danger.
Mansour Osanloo, arrested on July 10, 2007, is a leading trade-union activist who has been imprisoned several times during the past three years. Osanloo is a founding member of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, an independent union that has been campaigning vigorously for workers rights.
Osanloo is currently held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. Agents of the Intelligence Ministry detained and held Osanloo in Evin prison twice before: from September 7, 2005 to August 9, 2006 and from November19 to December 19, 2007.
As a leading member of the labor movement in Iran, Osanloo campaigned for government recognition of the right to form independent unions. He and his colleagues held a founding meeting to establish independent unions on May 9, 2005. Members of the government-controlled Islamic Workers Council attacked the gathering and Osanloo suffered serious injuries including knife wounds, necessitating stitches in his neck and tongue.. Security forces present during the meeting did not intervene.
Osanloo and his coworkers continued to pursue trade-union organizing activities despite the attack on their founding meeting. Security forces arrested several members of the union, including Osanloo on September 7, 2005. Although the Judiciary released all other detainees on December 25, 2005, Osanloo remained under detention. He was eventually released after posting bail in amount of 150 million Toman ($165,000) on August 9, 2006. During his detention, he was held in solitary confinement for three months and 23 days.
Osanloo’s freedom did not last long as he continued to promote trade union activities. He was re-arrested on November 19, 2006, as he was leading a workers delegation to visit the Ministry of Labor in East Tehran to discuss the dismissal of trade-union activists from their jobs. The Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office demanded another 30 million Toman($33,000) in bail before releasing Osanloo on December 19, 2006.
On February 24, 2007, Osanloo was summoned to the Revolutionary Court and charged with “attempts to jeopardize national security,” and “propaganda against the state.” In May, the court sentenced Osanloo to five years in prison; his lawyers filed an appeal. Plaincloths security forces kidnapped Osanloo on a street near his home in Tehran on July 10, 2007. For four days, the authorities refused to confirm that Osanloo was in detention. For the first seventy days, Osanloo was deprived of family visits. The 36th Branch of Tehran Court of Appeal confirmed Osanloo’s sentence in October 2007.
Osanloo suffers from serious eye-related ailments. His family had been requesting a medical leave so Osanloo can undergo eye surgery. On January 26, 2008, the authorities finally allowed Osanloo to undergo eye surgery. However as he was transferred to a hospital outside the prison, he was kept under guard. After the surgery his doctors told his lawyer, Parviz Khorshid, that Osanloo needs at least five weeks of medical care. However, prison guards took Osanloo back to Evin prison only a few days after his surgery. Osanloo’s family and his lawyers have expressed serious concerns regarding his health and safety.